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House of Lords role for the Bishop of Lichfield

The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill

The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill

The Bishop of Lichfield is set to take up a Church of England role in the House of Lords

The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill will join the 26 bishops who make up the Lords Spiritual, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester.  The remaining 21 are the most senior diocesan bishops, by length of service.

The Bishop of Lichfield will be introduced to the House of Lords November 3 by Bishop Stephen Platten of Wakefield and Bishop John Packer of Ripon and Leeds.

As part of the role he will take a turn as Duty Bishop during 2010, leading prayers and taking part in debates when the House is sitting.

The Bishop of Lichfield said he was glad to be able to “represent the interests of the West Midlands”. He added:

“Like many people I have often wondered if having bishops in Parliament is a little antiquated and takes bishops away from their dioceses, so I have been surprised at the strength of conviction from people of other faiths and none who have said to me that they value the contribution of the bishops in the Lords and that this is part of the constitution which should not be meddled with.

“Christian leaders have played an active role in parliament since at least the time when the Witans, consulted by Saxon Kings, were attended by religious leaders. The very name Westminster reminds us of the Christian origins of our constitution, and in each generation Christian leaders have been active in contributing to our laws and advancing the values which underpin them. That of course does not decide the question of how in the 21st century Christians should best contribute in both Houses of Parliament. I may have an opinion on that in a year’s time!”

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